‘The perfect fit’ for the Champions: Mariners appoint new Football Manager

Central Coast Mariners have revealed Englishman Mark Jackson as the club’s new football manager.

Jackson arrives at the club after a stint at the helm of English club Milton Keynes Dons; he has an extensive history developing young footballers, most notably through the ranks of Leeds United – a quality Mariners sporting director Matt Simon says “fits in with exactly what we want to continue to do at the club.”

Jackson takes on the role of football manager at the Mariners with the endorsement of former head coach Nick Montgomery who, along with assistant Sergio Raimundo, departed the club after winning the 2022-23 A-League Men Championship for a new challenge at Scottish club Hibernian.

“I am proud and extremely excited to be joining the Central Coast Mariners,” Jackson said.

“To be a part of a club with a community and family feel, that wants youth players to come in and that everyone on that pitch wants to give everything for is really nice and something that I want to see continue.

“I want to play front foot football and dominate every part of the game. That is my philosophy, that is how I want my teams to play, and that is what I will bring to the Central Coast.

“The club is in a fantastic position, so I want to continue that good work and help the club grow and continue to move forward.”

Jackson joined Leeds as an under-15 and under-16 coach, rising through the ranks before taking on the job of head coach of the club’s under-23 side in Premier League 2 Division 2, earning promotion in his first season in charge.

Excelling with the U23’s earned Jackson a spot in former Leeds boss Jesse Marsch’s staff as a first-team coach, before his departure to MK Dons for a five-month spell that ended with the club’s relegation to League Two.

Mariners sporting director Matt Simon said: “I’m really excited to welcome Mark to the club. After the very first conversation we had with Mark, it was very clear he is the right person to lead the club into the future,” Simon said. 

“His experience and track record with youth development was a standout and fits in with exactly what we want to continue to do at the club.”

Mariners chairman Richard Peil added: “With the departure of Monty and Sergio, the search for replacement leadership has taken centre stage.

“While we had a substantial number of applications from people around the world, Mark immediately showed that he is the perfect fit for our club.

“Having spent several seasons in youth development at Leeds United, many of which were under a world-class coach in Marcelo Bielsa, and with our focus on Youth Development, it was a no-brainer when Mark put his hand up for the role. Mark will fit seamlessly into the community and is a great cultural fit for us as a club.”